Deadline Hollywood reports that the first trailer of Mel Gibson’s upcoming World War II film “Hacksaw Ridge” has been released. The movie tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a pacifist, and contentious objector, who nevertheless enlisted in the United States Army to serve in World War II to serve as a combat medic. He is the first contentious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 75 men at the Battle of Okinawa.

The trailer suggests that the Doss’ journey to being a hero who never touched nor fired a weapon was hard. America in the 1940s had a difficult time recognizing that someone could be brave and not willing to kill an enemy.

And America was facing the evilest, relentless enemy that she had ever encountered in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. The only explanation that Doss’ peers and superiors in the Army could understand was that he was a coward.

Doss’ time in boot camp was far harder than was experienced by most who were being trained to fight on the battlefields of the Pacific and Europe. One scene shows him being beaten by his squad mates. Another scene shows him being brought up on charges. In the end, he is granted the “privilege” (you can cut the sarcasm with a bayonet) of going into battle without a single weapon to defend himself.

Then, at the Battle of Okinawa, so bloody that it persuaded the United States government to drop the atomic bomb rather than invade the Japanese home islands, Doss busies himself dragging, under fire, his fellow soldiers, some who no doubt sneered at him for a coward, from death so that they could come home.

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“Hacksaw Ridge” represents an opportunity for redemption for Mel Gibson. Ever since he gave a drunken, anti-Semitic rant, his career has been on a downslope. The glory days of “Braveheart” seemed to be gone. But if the movie does well and is thought to be a worthy piece of art, perhaps Gibson will be able to prove that he is more than that angry man who had too much to drink and had said too much.